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Why School-Based Health Centers Work
80 percent of Oregon students seen in an SBHC reported that they would not have received health services that day without their center. *
Why are children in Oregon not receiving the health care they need?
- The family may lack medical insurance.
- The insurance policy of working parents may not cover their children or may only provide for catastrophic illness.
- Lack of transportation, especially in rural areas.
- A family may be unable to find a medical provider in their community who will accept the Oregon Health Plan.
School-based health centers break down these barriers by providing all students with the care they need, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. They are conveniently located in a familiar environment where students spend much of their day.
SHS Health Clinic Helping Students
The Mountain Times
When the Oregon Trail School District planned the new Sandy High School, a School Based Health Clinic (SBHC) was not in the picture.
85 percent of students reported that they received at least one prevention message when visiting their health center. *
SBHCs counsel students individually, in groups, and through school-wide education initiatives. What are some of the health messages SBHCs provide?
- Tobacco and drug prevention
- Healthy eating/obesity counseling
- Emotional health
- Screening for chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes
School-based health centers are prevention-focused so that health problems and risky behaviors can be caught early or prevented altogether. Prevention and early intervention make financial sense by reducing Medicaid expenditures and inappropriate emergency room use. But most importantly, prevention keeps kids healthy so that they can succeed in school.
In Oregon, 70 percent of students reported that they would have missed at least one class to receive care outside their health center. *
Studies show that school-based health centers decrease absenteeism, tardiness and school discipline problems. Because many children can be treated at school for their health care needs, daily attendance is increased – providing the school with maximum revenue. One elementary school in Oregon reported a 65% decline in discipline referrals for students who were seen by an SBHC mental health therapist.
* 2007 Status Report on School-Based Health Centers, State SBHC Program Office